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Eating Disorders and Body Image Issues with Taylor Swift

Unsplash | Raphael Lovaski
By Ivy Pope

Among 'Swifties', or fans of Taylor Swift, she's this fun-loving, amazing musician who puts a lot of work into both her family and her music. But with her documentary Miss Americana debuting at the end of January, fans are learning that this artist is just like them, especially when it comes to the societal pressures of 'being thin' or 'pretty'.

In the life of a celebrity, especially when 30-year-old Swift began her career, paparazzi and tabloids were everywhere. Celebs. lives were violated by people as they were stalked for illegal, unprompted photos. That just says a lot about society there, too.

'Miss Americana' and Eating Disorders

Gettyimages | George Pimentel

The documentary Miss Americana goes in-depth into Swift's unhealthy relationship with food, which she relates back to the obsessive paparazzi and scrutiny that fans (and haters alike) believe they have the right to give her because her life is so public.

"It's not good for me to see pictures of myself every day. It's only happened a few times, and I'm not in any way proud of it. A Picture where I feel like I looked like my tummy was too big..."

What Are Eating Disorders?

Gettyimages | syahrir maulana

Eating disorders are rampant in today's society, constantly showing up. True, eating disorders did not "appear" in the 21st century, but it is when these disorders started to be talked about more and more. People with eating disorders wanted to shed more light on them, help others who might suffer from them.

Eating disorders are not just about food; these disorders are a handful of complex mental health conditions. However the term 'eating disorder' comes from the fact these disorders present with an obsession of food and/or body shape.

According to Heathline,

Experts believe that eating disorders may be caused by a variety of factors. One of these is genetics, and personality traits are another cause.

Despite the fact experts believe the above, they also have to tip their hats to culture and societal views on thinness.

Anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder that is probably the most well-known, is where someone views themselves as overweight while being dangerously underweight. They monitor weight, avoid food, and severely restrict their calories.

Bulimia nervosa is another well-known one, where the person eats unusually large amounts of food without much control, until they are painfully full, then they purge to compensate for calories consumed and to relieve stomach pain.

Binge eating disorder is one that experts believe is most common in the United States. This is a disorder where someone eats large amounts of food, and feel a lack of control. They do not restrict calories or purge to compensate for their binges.

Pica is another one, though this involves eating things that are not food.

Rumination disorder is a newly recognized eating disorder, and is where someone regurgitates food they have previous chewed and swallowed, and then re-chews it and either swallows or spits it out.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake disorder is a new name for an old disorder, which was once called "feeding disorder of infancy and early childhood" and was reserved only for children under seven years old. Individuals with this disorder experience disturbed eating due to lack of interest, or distaste for certain smells, tastes, colors, textures or temperatures.

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